Physical Space

One of the first steps in creating a YOUmedia is designing the physical space. YOUmedia is both safe and welcoming—and youth owned. The site's design should encourage youth to explore digital media and creativity. It should enable youth to work both individually and collaboratively. And it should ultimately give youth a sense that this space belongs to them. Yollocalli Open Studies arts program in Chicago offers an example of how one organization incorporated HOMAGO into their space: http://issuu.com/yollocalli/docs/homagoguidebook

Often, a YOUmedia space is designed with three areas in mind:

  • The Hanging Out area is a relaxed spot where youth can eat (yes—allowing food is a good idea), read, talk with friends, and check Facebook or other social media or email. As its name suggests, it’s a pressure-free introduction to the culture of YOUmedia.

  • The Messing Around area allows youth to tinker with digital media. The space should have a variety of equipment so youth can explore their interests by using laptops, gaming consoles, recording equipment, video and traditional cameras, drawing pads, and more. The goal is to spark an interest.

  • The Geeking Out area offers opportunities to collaborate, participate in workshops, and perform. Most importantly, this space allows youth to expand beyond their initial interests.

To see in more detail how these elements were incorporated into the space design and programming of a current learning lab, please see this presentation by Ryan Hill of Artlab+ at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Sample Floor Plans

Here’s some photos and floor plans of existing spaces. You'll see how much flexibility there is in designing your space.

Now that you have the overview, what about the nitty-gritty? We’ve assembled answers to some common questions to help you think about how to build out a YOUmedia site. If you have more, please ask!

And never forget this important point from teens designing a youth space at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH: We need a place to be ourselves, to be better than ourselves, and to figure out ourselves, a place free of boredom and adult agendas, that helps teens figure themselves out through art/music/anything-making.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q What do we look for in a space?

In planning for the physical space, look for a room that can accommodate different phases of learning—so it should be pretty big if possible. Remember, too, that you’ll need a good internet connection and a lot of outlets!

Listen to ARTlab's Ryan Hill discuss some of the considerations in designing a YOUmedia in a museum.

1 Comments
Q How big should the space be?

Larger is better in many respects, but space sizes vary widely.

ARTlab+, the YOUmedia at the Hirshhorn Museum, measures 1,872 square feet, and is located in the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. Currently ARTlab+ can only accommodate 50 occupants at one time and is getting too crowded. Because attendance has grown and more room is needed for activities, an additional, permanent ARlab+ space is being built in the lobby of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.

YOUmedia in Chicago is housed on the ground floor of the Chicago Public Library’s downtown branch and takes up about 5,500 square feet. On the other hand, YOUmedia in some of the city’s branch libraries are much smaller.

When building YOUmedia, it’s important to construct the space so that when kids enter, they can see all the activities that are available to them. In addition, some teens like to find their own private nook, especially at the end of a long and hectic school day. Thus, be sure to have plenty of private areas so that teens can just relax on their own if they choose.

Q How much flexibility do we have?

A lot! The physical YOUmedia space can be any size, but it should be nimble and flexible enough to allow for the various stages of learning—hanging out, messing around, and geeking out. That means you should be able to move furniture around easily, pull tables together, cordon off a space for a quick workshop, or pull the couches together to brainstorm. A wide-open floor plan is often best. It allows for a lot of moving back and forth between interests, and it also lets youth see what’s going on elsewhere.

YOUmedia Chicago's Amy Eshleman discusses how an open space facilitates collaboration and skill-building and allows adults to understand how the space is being used.

And don’t forget—comfortable, sturdy, and attractive furniture is important. And since kids are kids, don’t forget to include assembly, maintenance, and replacement costs when developing your overall budget.

1 Comments
Q How do we design the physical space for programming?

To answer this question, we went straight to the source. Here's Tim Lord of DreamYard, Ryan HIll of ARTlab+, Amy Eshleman and Nichole Pinkard of YOUmedia at Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and Jennifer Steele of a branch library YOUmedia in Chicago all talking about how they make the most of their space.

Ryan Hill discusses how HOMAGO influenced their Artlab+ space design at the Hirshhorn Museum.

Tim Lord of DreamYard discusses the importance of distinguishing spaces for studio work and for multipurpose work.

Amy Eshleman discusses how HOMAGO comes into play in designing the space at the Harold Washington Library.

Nichole Pinkard discusses how space can be designed to promote youth- and interest-driven programming.

YOUmedia Chicago's Taylor Bayless discusses how YOUmedia spaces differ from classroom spaces and how their programming evolved over time.

YOUmedia Chicago Branch Manager Jennifer Steele offers insights on smaller spaces.

17 Comments
Q What kind of furniture works best?

In short, comfortable, sturdy, and attractive furniture that is easily moved. Tables on wheels, for example, are a good idea so they can be easily moved around. Moveable wall dividers are also a good idea.

Think also about how to use all the surfaces—walls, ceiling, floors—for exhibits, programming, and inspiration.

Teens at Wexner Center for the Arts, in Columbus, OH, added one more thing: Students must be able to change the space themselves, so modular movable furniture works best.

And because teens are teens, darker upholstery is the best bet to hide wear and tear.

Lesson Learned

At ARTlab+ in Washington DC, their tables have laminate tops with two holes in the tops to allow wiring to fit through and attach to pulleys that come down from the ceiling so that teens can plug in their computers. This set-up works well because it keeps wires off of the floor and enables a greater number of teens to work at the computers. They also use orange plastic chairs, blue desk chairs with ergonomic backs, and large foam rubber sofas. The kids can also relax in large bean bag chairs.

Download the original furniture list [XLS] with pricing information that YOUmedia Chicago started with.

Q How do we incorporate a sound studio?

Sound studios don't take up much space, but you will need a room that can be sound-proofed and separate from the rest of the space. The YOUmedia staff at the Harold Washington Library turned a closet into a recording studio and added soundproofing, a table, power and data for computer hookups. Be sure to soundproof the door as well!

Here's a photo of a recording studio and here's Ryan Hill of ARTlab+ talking about how a sound studio bolsters programming and draws students in:

Q Should lockers be available?

Yes, absolutely. Kids need to be able to safely store their coats, books, and other personal items.

Q Should food be allowed?

Yes. Kids are hungry after school. And it makes for a more convivial atmosphere if teens can grab a snack and discuss projects. Designate a space where food and eating is allowed.

Q Where is the circulation desk and what is its purpose?

The circulation desk is the kitchen table of the YOUmedia space. It is a centerpiece and a first stop for many to find mentors, check out equipment, see familiar faces, and gain a footing in YOUmedia activities. Chicago's Taylor Bayless describes its practical functions and its role in hooking kids into the programs.

* Don’t forget: Digital media need a lot of outlets. Plan ahead!

Q Where is security?

Security should be both visible, but not intimidating. They can be stationed near the door as a check on equipment, but they often also circulate around the room. The kids get to know the security personnel well and are on a first-name basis.

Q Should storage be available?

Storage will definitely be necessary. Equipment will need storage with security overnight (although it should be open and accessible during operating hours).

Q Is noise an issue?

Noise can indeed be an issue. This is a hands-on doing and making space after all. Most teens tone it down when asked. At YOUmedia Chicago, staff keep tabs on the volume level and frequently ask teens to turn down the music or talk a little more quietly. If a teen does not comply, he or she will first be given a warning, and then subsequently asked to leave the center.

A teen at Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH, had a good idea. She suggested that sites build in the ability to choose between quiet and active environments.

In this video, a Chicago branch library YOUmedia leader discusses how they manage the noise in a library setting.

Q How often do we have to replace equipment?

This will depend on wear and tear and types of programming in each space. The longest-running YOUmedia to date has yet, since opening in summer 2009, to replace the furniture. However, all the couches and chairs have been reupholstered. The fabric on the couches and chairs was replaced with a darker and much more durable fabric.

Equipment is another matter, as digital media equipment can break, laptops have a relatively short lifespan, and software is regularly updated. Budgeting for regular replacement is a smart idea.

Q What are lessons learned about designing and using space?

We put that question to three YOUmedia leaders, and they each had a different take.

YOUmedia Chicago's Brother Mike Hawkins talks about how programming can flow from one space to the next and how open sightlines across project areas can spark interest among youth.

DreamYard's Tim Lord reminds viewers that effective use of the space will take longer than you think and how important it is to listen to young people, staff, and parents to design a space that meets your needs.

Amy Eshleman looks back on the planned, and the organic, HOMAGO zones at YOUmedia Chicago.

Mentors at the Wexner Center for the Arts put the question to students. During the summer of 2012, ten teens spent two weeks collaborating on what a teen-focused space should look and feel like. How to design a space, by students at the Wexner Center for the Arts [pdf]

1 Comments

Comments

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

Awesome POST!!! You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site . linge hotellerie

 

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site . Comerica Web Banking Login

 

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.  Photography Magazine

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Good Post, I am a big believer in posting comments on sites to let the blog writers know that they’ve added something advantageous to the world wide web! magazine wordpress themes

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.  luggage reviews

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say.   Turkey Tours

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site . programmable crock pot

 

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.  clip art

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Download our white paper and learn how extending your digital marketing toolbox by integrating with related marketing technologies can help solve these challenges and enhance your marketing programs, including:  คาสิโนออนไลน์

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Marketers need to know a whole lot about their customers and prospects to deliver the content today’s sophisticated, social-savvy buyers want – when they want it. Download our white paper and learn how extending your digital marketing toolbox by integrating with related marketing technologies can help solve these challenges and enhance your marketing programs, including:   sexo por whatsapp

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.

NY criminal lawyer

 

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.   CCleaner

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say.   Buy Phen375

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I’m really happy to find this site and did enjoy reading useful articles posted here. The ideas of the author was awesome, thanks for the share.  presspia

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites!  BODYBUILDING FORUM​

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! girlfriend activation system review  gia ke

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

There are many frozen beverage dispensers available on today’s market, and each one offers unique features. Frozen drinks are a traditional American favorite!  joovy Double Stroller X2
sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises  $ 7.67 /mo

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites!  หาช่างภาพ

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Text Your Ex Back may be a complete texting system that teaches you ways to use text messages to induce your ex back when a breakup. It uses terribly powerful psychological principles and thoroughly crafted texting formulas to open your ex to the thought of being with you once more.  cornelius personal trainer​

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! girlfriend activation system review sildigra tablets

khare

Re: Physical Space

how to get a woman to sleep with you How To Get Hot Girls To Sleep With You: Unlock Her Legs Review And Download Site For Rob Judge And Bobby Rio's Top Ranked Guide To Making

khare

Re: Physical Space

https://www.rebelmouse.com/fatlossaccelerators2reviews/ How To Accelerate Fat Loss And Boost Metabolism: Fat Loss Accelerators 2.0 Review And Download Site For Kate Vidulich's 

aqibarif74

Re: Physical Space

You can comment on the affiliate program of the blog. You might explain it's phenomenal. Your blog evaluation may thicken your hits.  superhero abs review
fitrijunay

Re: Physical Space

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to he good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would youmind updating your blog with more information?

ABCbola.com Agen Judi Bola Terpercaya Piala Dunia 2014

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

This is very useful post for me. This will absolutely going to help me in my projects.  free gold codes

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.  free microsoft points codes

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

You can help them by buying them food only for emergency perfunctory.

best fat burner supplement for men

 

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

Awesome POST!!!! You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site . How to recover deleted files

tahirkhan

Re: Physical Space

I am extremely happy to find this site.I hunted to be grateful you for this great study!! I absolutely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post https://www.rebelmouse.com/perfectvisiontodayreviews/

tahirkhan

Re: Physical Space

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! www.rebelmouse.com/3secondsexualattractionreview/

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!  power balance

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Many thanks for this brilliant post! Many points have extremely useful. Hopefully you’ll continue sharing your knowledge around.  kisvirágú füzike

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

This is cool post and i enjoy to read this post. your blog is fantastic and you have good staff in your blog. nice sharing keep it up  เช่าชุดราตรี

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.  Where to Buy Venus Factor

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

I admired that indeed fabulous arrange. its indeed altered classifys motive. abounding process!

rebelmouse.com/fatlossaccelerators2reviews

 

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Hey, great blog, but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me please  bonaire

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I read Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that…  อาหารแมว กระป๋องเปลือย

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the Author! All the best.  AppCake Source

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

I am certain that there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals who look into your blog and hope you can share more.

garcinia cambogia side effecs

 

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

I am certain that there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals who look into your blog and hope you can share more.

garcinia cambogia side effecs

 

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

You have done a great job.  I am confident they will be benefited from this site . nike skateboarding zoom stefan janoski

ferrymaster

Re: Physical Space

Reliable and trusted SEO Company, rank your website higher by using trusted backlinks services. Manual work, done by professionals. Proven results. Full reports.  

backlink services

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

There are a lot of blogs and articles out there on this topic, but you have acquired another side of the subject. This is reliable content thank you for sharing it.  เครื่องม้วนผม babyliss

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

Interesting. I would agree that focusing on growth vs cost control during the early stages of a business is ideal, however, there will be a point when that shifts.  โหลดเกมส์ฟรี

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I read Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that… ชุดเดรส

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I read Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that…  assisted living burbank

jackymiky

Re: Physical Space

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Ici

 

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

I did enjoy reading articles posted on this site. They are impressive and has a lot of useful information.  assisted living northridge

sl786982

Re: Physical Space

He’ll kill you on defense though, but offensively he’s probably the best big man in the game in the low post. I wish Big Al would go to the celtics, that would kind of be perfect. If he goes to the bobcats, that would be interesting.  assisted living hawthorne

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.